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Meredith student charged in wrong way I-40 crash appears in court

Posted November 19, 2015

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— A 21-year-old woman charged in connection with a wrong-way crash on Interstate 40 in Raleigh made her first court appearance Thursday afternoon.

According to authorities, Julia Margaret Fritschel, a Meredith College student, was driving east in the westbound lanes of I-40 near Jones Sausage Road at about 6 a.m. Sunday when she collided head-on with a silver PT Cruiser driven by Chandra Waletha Green, 41. The crash caused Green's car to catch fire.

Fritschel was taken to WakeMed with non-life-threatening injuries. She was charged with driving while impaired, having an open container of alcohol in the vehicle, careless and reckless driving and driving the wrong way on an interstate. Green was taken to WakeMed, where she remains hospitalized with serious injuries.

Shantera Green, Chandra's daughter, said she is trying to be strong for her mom. She said she left her mother's bedside to attend the hearing Thursday.

This is the second time Fritschel has been charged with DWI. She has a pending charge from May, according to court documents.

"This time she hurt somebody," Green said. "That is my mom."

District Court Judge Ned Mangum refused to lower Fritschel's $100,000 secure bond. If she posts bond, Mangum added that she not consume alcohol as a condition of her pre-trial release.

"The entire Fritschel family, their thoughts and prayers, they are thinking about the Green family," said defense attorney Roger Smith Jr. "Julia is going to be OK as far as her injuries go. And that is all they are thinking about - the Green family. They are praying for them."

5 Comments

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  • Susan Mjb Nov 20, 2015
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    I do understand that Brian. Unfortunately, until the penalties for drunk driving and driving with a revoked license are made much more stringent, we are going to continue to have these situations. Drunk drivers need to be taken out of their cars and off the roads and if putting them in jail is the only way to do that... then that's what needs to happen. There are countries in the world where the 1st offense of DWI gets you an automatic 1 year in jail.

  • Bryan Ayers Nov 19, 2015
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    ...you DO realize that a license is not required in order for a person to drive? All that they need is a vehicle.

  • Kristin Byrne Nov 19, 2015
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    Continuances. Both sides have a certain number of them. It's pretty much the norm for a DWI case to take more than 6 months.

    A revoked license probably wouldn't have kept this from happening. It would've only added a DWLR charge. This chick doesn't seem to follow the law too well. Do you really think she'd stay off the road?

  • Susan Mjb Nov 19, 2015
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    Why hasn't she been convicted yet of the first DWI offense in May? Are the courts that backlogged? If she had been convicted in May, hopefully her drivers license would have been revoked and this wouldn't have happened.

  • Wayne Douglas III Nov 19, 2015
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    Take away her license to drive, permanently.